Slingshot braces for all-you-can-eat launch this afternoon
With 1000 customers pre-registered, the ISP is set to reveal more plan details.
As flagged by NBR on Monday, Slingshot is set to launch its $79.95 a month unlimited data plan today.
Last night, CallPlus/Slingshot chief executive Mark Callander told NBR his company was aiming to go live with its All You Can Eat plan late this afternoon.
Some 1000 customers had pre-registered for the plan, Mr Callander said.
There will initially be a limit of 10,000 customers on the plan, although the Slingshot boss hopes to lift this after a trial period.
Other qualifiers: a customer must sign up to a 24-month plan and have their tolls and home phone accounts with Slingshot too.
Following the recent demise of the only other nationwide unlimited data plan – Telecom’s Big Time – Mr Callander sees a potential pool of 100,000 “power user” customers for un-capped broadband.
Mr Callander sees sufficient demand for the remaining 9000 initial customer accounts to be such that some accounts might end up on TradeMe.
Customers can expect best performance in areas where CallPlus/Slingshot or its LLU allies (Vodafone, Orcon and Compass) has unbundled Telecom exchanges.
That means, for now, primarily Auckland and Hamilton - although CallPlus/Slingshot is on track to unbundle 28 exchanges around the country over the next three months (see Keallhauled).
In other areas, customers will be on Telecom UBA network, which Mr Callander sees as inferior because of Telecom’s “dimensioning” or restrictions on bandwidth per subscriber.
Traffic will not be shaped or “throttled” as Telecom did with its Big Time plan during peak hours, and customers will be free to access peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing services.
But at congested times, traffic will be prioritised in the following order:
1) VoIP (internet voice call) traffic, gaming, local browsing
4) Exceptions (traffic types that are unknown)
5) P2P and other file sharing technologies
“If you are a power user within this plan, we will not single you out and slow you down,” Mr Callander said. “There is no abuse pool and no targeted throttling of high volume users. We believe this is against the nature of All You Can Eat.”
All You Can Eat customers have “more than three to four times” the international bandwidth allocation per subscriber compared to Slingshot’s limited plans.
“The logic behind this is straightforward - we expect All You Can Eat customers to be power users and this means significantly longer times online - perhaps even always on. As a result, the bandwidth allocated to this pool needs to be considerably more.”
All You Can Eat customers will also see the benefits of local caching, said Mr Callander.
The Slingshot boss also told NBR the unlimited data plans would be profitable from the get-go. "I don't know what went wrong for Telecom [with Go Large and Big Time]", Mr Callander said.
All eyes are now on CallPlus/Slingshot’s most direct rivals, Vodafone and Orcon.
Orcon has yet to return a request for comment.
A Vodafone spokesman said his company was currently focused on its naked DSL offering, announced earlier this week.